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Food Banker Spotlight – Marjorie Bencz

We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Marjorie Bencz from the Edmonton’s Food Bank. 

What is your role in food banking? 
I am privileged to service as Executive Director of the Edmonton Gleaners Association: Edmonton’s Food Bank. 

Describe a typical day in one word.  
Each day is “unique” bringing with it new challenges and opportunities. 

What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
Prior to starting at the Food Bank, I was an active Volunteer in the community.  I started volunteering at the Food Bank as I wanted to learn more about poverty and help people experiencing poverty. 

What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
I was honoured for my ongoing service to Canadians and invested into the Order of Canada in the category of Social Science in 2006.  This recognition is not for my role, but for the collective support that I receive from Edmontonians, Albertans and fellow Canadians in reducing hunger in our communities.  

What is your greatest challenge in your current role? 
COVID-19 and its continued impact on Food Bank operations, the economy, the people we serve, and on our communities. 

If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
Food Banks across Canada were never intended as an unpaid and under-resourced accessory to inadequate provincial and federal social policies.  We need to ensure that all Canadians have an adequate income.  Poverty is complex. 

There is a moral dimension to hunger and we must all be commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of others.  After all, food banks are not a realistic substitute for policies that help vulnerable people enter the work force, or access to adequate income support, or affordable housing so that people to live with dignity. 

In other words, we have lots of work ahead of us. 

Which talent would you most like to have? 
To be a good writer… 

If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
Quit worrying…enjoy life more. 

Who are your heroes?  Fictional or real life
Food Bank volunteers…people who do the heavy lifting with humour, respect and compassion. 

What is your idea of happiness? 
A nice long walk with my dog or a quiet, pleasant horse-back ride. 

What is your motto?
“Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”  I have lots of experience.  😊 

Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
I don’t eat chicken…it is a long story…. 

Do you know a food bank or food banker that could be featured on our next Spotlight? Contact us at communications@foodbankscanada.ca